Collaborative divorce can be as civilized as it sounds. It is basically a way to get a divorce and stay out of court at the same time. The spouses come to a resolution on the issues surrounding divorce, such as custody, division of assets, alimony, and child support.
The process begins with the spouses entering into a “participation agreement” where they pledge to negotiate with one another in a neutral setting. The participation agreement contains clauses such as:
- The parties will entrust their respective attorneys to negotiating a settlement;
- Experts may be retained to assist with certain facets;
- The parties will act in their child’s best interest;
- The parties will agree to settle issues in a fair and non-adversarial manner; and
- All agreements regarding assets, insurance, or children cannot be changed without the consent of both parties.
Each spouse is represented by a collaborative lawyer. This specialized field of dispute resolution comes with its own training and skill. Be sure when searching for an attorney to ask if the lawyer is experienced in collaborative divorce, and whether the lawyer has received training in the collaborative divorce process.
The experts you may have to retain for your collaborative divorce team depend on the particular issues involved in the divorce. So you could have to hire a finance expert, a mental health professional, a mediator, and a child development specialist.
While collaborative divorce is faster, easier, sometimes cheaper, more participative, and less stressful than traditional divorce, it does not always work. In that case, you can switch to a traditional divorce, but you will have to get a new lawyer.
Collaborative divorce is best suited for couples who get along, at least minimally. If the couple is highly antagonistic towards each other the process will be highly difficult. The idea behind it is that the parties in some respect work together towards their lives apart.
When striving towards a settlement, negotiations often taken several meetings. These meetings are held in a neutral setting with both parties and their lawyers. The process may take effort, but it can be the most painless and productive way to get divorced. Definitely worth a try.
To consult with an attorney today call the most experienced criminal and family law practitioners in New Mexico, . We are here to help you and your loved ones navigate the court process. Schedule a free consultation now by calling 505-247-2390.